The Golden State Warriors opened their 2021 preseason slate Monday night with a 121-107 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers and the biggest standout on the Dubs’ side was undoubtedly third-year guard Jordan Poole. There was a moment late in the first quarter where superstar point guard Stephen Curry was all everybody could talk about though.
With Golden State on offense and leading 18-14 with just under four minutes to go in the opening frame, Curry took a pass at the top of the three-point arc, took a few dribbles to his left and stepped back for what appeared to be a three-point attempt. Instead, No. 30 got a defender in the air, leaned into him and flung a wild shot that hit off the top of the backboard.
Normally, that would lead to three free throws for Steph, but not anymore.
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Over the summer, among the items that the NBA decided to crackdown on were players on offense making “non-basketball moves” during a jump shot attempt in order to draw a foul on the defender. Curry’s lowlight on Monday night was a clear example of what the Association is trying to get rid of, so props to the officials for making the “no-call” there.
Luckily, for Dub Nation, this kind of “Shaqtin-a-Fool” worthy mistake was made in the preseason and not during the regular season.
NBA ‘Expected to Implement New Rules to Limit Non-Basketball Moves’
On the third day of summer, senior NBA insider Shams Charania reported on some of the rule changes that the NBA was going to institute.
Charania broke down in further detail what the rules would include.
On September 30, the NBA Official Twitter account provided video examples of various star players in live-game situations where new rules would and wouldn’t be implemented, with an explanation of why or why not. One of the examples included Curry.
Curry, as well as guys like James Harden and Trae Young have officially been put on notice.
Steve Kerr on New Rules: ‘It’s What Every Coach Wants’
Ironically, prior to Monday’s game against the Trail Blazers, both Curry and Warriors head coach Steve Kerr talked with The Athletic’s Anthony Slater about the rule changes.
“There’s going to be some confusion to start, for sure,” Curry said, via Slater. “Any emphasis they put from one year to the next, the changes, it takes some time to adjust. I’m sure there will be some antics early … Like that (stepback) traveling thing a couple years ago, refs are trained to look at a certain thing, but there’s a lot of other things going on. They have to get adjusted too.”
Kerr was mostly in full support of the rule changes.
“The game needs it,” Kerr told The Athletic. “I say the same thing all the time. If we’re making calls in the NBA that would literally start fights in a pickup game because they’re so egregious and non-basketball-related – in other words, if I come off a screen in a pickup game and literally hook your arm, flail my arms and then go up for a shot and call a foul, a fight is going to ensue.”
Slater wrote that Kerr received a text message from Warriors director of pro scouting Jonnie West on Sunday, as West took in a preseason game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets, and West witnessed numerous instances of new rules being implemented.
“He said there were four offensive fouls on (dribble handoffs) in the first half,” Kerr said. “That’s something they’re emphasizing. If the players have to feel it first to get comfortable, the preseason is the place for it to happen. Usually what happens is they call a ton of fouls in the preseason to set a tone and then cut back in the regular season.”
For what it’s worth Curry told Slater that he doesn’t know if the changes in the NBA will alter how he “operates offensively”.
“It’s what every coach wants,” Kerr said of the new rules. “As long as the refs follow through on what the league says they will do – and I have every confidence they will – we’ll get away from players manipulating refs and back to basketball.”
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